Saunders responds to boos: We have to go back to move forward

Rovers' Rob Jones has his effort saved by Stevenage's Chris Day. Picture: Andrew Roe

Rovers' Rob Jones has his effort saved by Stevenage's Chris Day. Picture: Andrew Roe

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DEAN Saunders has called for more patience - on and off the pitch - as he attempts to turn Doncaster Rovers into League One’s ‘control freaks’.

Saunders, who this week marked a year in the job, is satisfied with how his revamped squad have started the season - but wants his side to gain more control in games.

A section of the Keepmoat Stadium crowd jeered during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Stevenage as Rovers were forced to go back with the ball, or take an aerial route, against a defensive Boro outfit.

Responding to those boos, Saunders told the Free Press that supporters should expect more of the same against sides who see Doncaster as a big scalp.

Saunders said: “We want the team to play football - and I’ve been told we’re top of the passing stats in the division.

“The crowd got a little frustrated when we were going backwards on Saturday, but that’s the way it’s going to be at times in this league.

“Stevenage scored and sat back.

“When a team sets up like that it’s difficult to pass through them and sometimes in a situation like that you have to go more aerial.

“But we also have to be patient and we’ve got to get the ball wide and cross it.

“I’m pleased with how we’ve started the season, in particular with how the lads have gelled so quickly,” he added.

“But there are some little things that are still not right and need some attention.

“The supporters can probably see some of the good things we’re doing, and some of the not so good.

“I’d like us to get a bit more control in games.

“But we’re a big scalp for teams in this division.

“We cannot expect to have things our own way all of the time.”

Billy Paynter, who has missed the last four weeks with a thigh injury after opening his account at Yeovil, is expected to return to Rovers’ squad for Saturday’s trip to Leyton Orient.